The iPhone 12 mini review

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Took me a few days off from writing here but spent all that time using my new mini and putting it through its paces.

First thing first, it does have the lock screen bug widely reported, but the issue does not exist anywhere outside the lock screen app, so I am assuming it is unlikely to be a actual hardware issue. If you are worried it is better to hold off from buying the mini until Apple issues an update.

Now for the unboxing photos.

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The box is so small and thin this time round, (no) thanks to the removal of the power adapter and the EarPods, but well they had to cut cost somewhere to justify the increased prices for the 5G chips Qualcomm was shoving down their throats for losing the lawsuit. In case you haven’t noticed, other phone manufacturers slap high price tags on the version of their phones that have 5G support, thanks to greedy Qualcomm, who take a much bigger cut per chip the more expensive the phone is.

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Nevertheless, the tiny box, with the tiny phone, is so attractive.

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OMG so cute.

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Only paperwork and the cable in the box.

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This is how the mini looks now, after the screen protector treatment and a esr clear case.

I shall divide the review into a few parts.

One hand usage

This is fantastic. It feels almost exactly like how you will use an iPhone 5s before, where phones are still of the size you can handle them without the assistance of a ring or pop socket at the back of the case. Tapping targets one handed requires no stretching of the muscles between your thumb and your first finger and that reduces the risk of RSI in the long term. I can hold it with two fingers anywhere and not worry about the phone falling out of my hand because it is either too big, too heavy or both. If you wear skinny jeans with the phone in your front pocket the phone feel like it is not there at all. Squatting down in your jeans will no longer entice a small worry in you that the phone will either bend or even break from the increase in vertical pressure. So lovely.

The display

Is the display too small? From many years of plus and Max sized phones I thought it might be an issue going back, so I was pleasantly surprised that it took zero effort on my part. Just like driving and swimming, even if you have not been engaging in the activities in a while, your brain remembers how to do them. And the brain definitely remembers how smaller iPhones used to feel and how you used to control and manipulate them without any problems. On screen elements also happen to be the exact same physical size as the iPhone 5s and earlier iPhones (and the current iPad mini), so unless you used to have a problem with screen elements from those past iPhones you probably will not have a problem with the 12 mini either.

Is the keyboard too small?

I am typing this article on the mini at a speed probably even slightly faster than I am on my 11 Pro Max, so what do you think? The keyboard is now the perfect size for both one hand typing and two hand typing, instead of just either. It seemed that Apple had gotten the size of the on screen keyboard right the very first time, when they shipped the very first iPhone. Every other size iOS keyboard was some sort of a compromise.

MagSafe charging

It is wireless charging after all, and tends to heat up the phone slightly. But definitely not as much as using my standard Qi chargers with the 12 mini. I do not know why that is. Having the 12 mini snap to the magnetic charging puck every time I put it down to charge on MagSafe is Just. So. Satisfying.

Battery life

This is likely the one issue that you may face if you are a power user (like myself) and have problems even with the 11 Pro Max battery life (I had). The bigger your battery is the longer your phone’s battery life. The 12 mini, with its smaller battery capacity is not going to have better battery life than the 12 Pro or the 12 Pro Max. So far, I am finding that it has roughly the same battery life as my iPhone X, and actually last longer than an iPhone SE2 (which has a smaller battery). It is average, I guess. But I always have a portable battery with me anyways, even when I was bringing the 11 Pro Max out of the house. If you do not have access to portable power and must get a phone that can last you the whole day, then do not pick the 12 mini. Buy the 12 Pro Max instead. Will I trade all the benefits of the 12 mini for just the battery of the 12 Pro Max? I most certainly will not. You probably shouldn’t, either.

Conclusion

If you always wanted a smaller iPhone than the recent sized iPhones, get the iPhone 12 mini. You will not be disappointed. Also it is worth repeating that I think that the blue and the black iPhone 12 minis are the ones to get this year, despite my usage dislike of darker colors. The other choices are just really boring.


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